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By: Henz Llarves | Date Posted: May 25, 2022
My favorite-looking 40% custom keyboard. The Pearl is the child of keen outdoor, keyboard, photo buff u/Koobaczech.
An avid appreciator of mini keyboards, Koobaczech started the 40% Pearl project to make an end-game keyboard for himself. Once he started sharing his project with the community, interest continued to grow to the point that a group buys for the Pearl may become a real thing.
A 40% layout means the Pearl has between 40 and 44 keys. With the missing keys being cleverly hidden under a function layer. So, to output the number 2 you’ll need to press Fn+W.
And going by how stunning the Pearl looks it looks like Koobaczech is on a winner!
A glance at the side of the Pearl reveals a high-profile aluminium case. A high-profile case allows the keycaps to be recessed, protecting the switches and PCB from any forms of damage.
Anodised aluminium not only adds strength but also caters to vast color options.
That’s not all, the case has a 5-6 degree incline to it, tilting the keycaps ever so slightly towards the user.
In the right-hand corner are indicator lights for SCROLL, CAPS, and NUM.
On the back, you’ll find the USB-C port that connects the Pearl to not only the computer but also current-day cable standards. It’s time for more keyboard manufacturers to start updating to USB-C.
If the 12 different colors aren’t screaming customizable then what about a unversale, suitable for your favorite layout? This universal plate can accommodate split backspace, split shift, and even split spacebar.
Plates come in a variety of metals, from polished brass to stainless steel, and anodized aluminium.
To add to the build quality, Pearl’s plates are all top-mounted. This is done to reduce stress on the PCB.
Switch selection is also broad as the Pearl is Alps and Cherry compatible. No more tossing upon whether you should do an Alps build or a BOX white build.
Programming is handled with the Bootmapper client. Though, if you’re not sold on using Bootmapper you can rest assured that QMK supports ps2avrgb boards, and, it’s very likely that the Pearl will get ported over soon.
Pearl’s PCB has LED support to pair with the under glow LEDs. A bit of programming knowledge and you’ll be able to set the backlight LEDs to match under glow effects.
Finally, there’s the captivating brass backplate. Engraved with beautiful cursive emphasizes Pearl’s excellent build quality. However, it also adds a touch of class to an already elegant keyboard.
The backplate isn’t just a piece of eye candy, it also serves to add heft to an already solid keyboard. Rubber feet are also used to help stabilize the Pearl when in use.
Alternatively, you can follow my Mechanical Keyboard Info facebook page for more keyboard news and details. There’ll also be more Pearl pics very soon.